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Science as an Authority vs. The Value of Faith

platano's picture

Our second class discussion on Sagan's A Demon-Haunted World allowed me to further develop my thoughts on my situation, although I'm still not closer to a resolution. In class someone brought up the fact that there has been a shift in authority. For years religion has had the authority, but as we have began to question and seek "facts" about the world, we have given the authority to Science. Scientists are the people that have cultivated the potential that we all have to be skeptical about things. What bothers me the most about Carl Sagan's writing is that he seems condescending to those that believe in something without evidence (i.e. God). This goes back to the last paper that I wrote about changing someone's reality. Well, another question could be: What realities are you entitled to change? I feel like my decision to stop or continue to believe in God should be mine, but I feel prodded in a certain direction. Not just by Carl Sagan, but by other people that consider themselves "questioners" or academics. People who believe in God, can also believe in democracy, and not in the authority of religion. And God can give them something that skepticism cannot. I believe that Sagan is proposing a suggestion to a more democratic world. But rather than convincing me, he repels me with this contradictions, and assumptions. He speaks as if he, the academic/scientist, knows what the next step should be for me. While I agree that we should question facts, I'm not sure whether that should mean to stop believing. If I once believed firmly in God, I have to ask myself why that was. Why did that reality make sense for me? The same can be asked of people who believe in UFO's. What prompted them to come to that conclusion? Culture? Trauma? Psychological reasons?

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Serendip Visitor's picture

authority for the christian

authority for the christian has to be the bible, and the shift today is were individuals decide for themselves that they are "the" authority on the bible. So i ask them, " is the word of god your authority, or are you the authority on the word of god." big difference

so the bible says the earth does not move, ( 5 times in the bible) science, so falsely called, says the earth revolves around the sun. so what is the christian supposed to do>? well, it all goes back to authority, what do you believe>?

you can not pick and choose what things you approve of in the bible but are committed to believe that it is god's truth. because if you can disprove one thing, then the whole work becomes suspect.

best
martin

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